Thursday, February 26, 2009

Offended?

God's desire for us is for us to be healthy and flourishing and fruitful. In Matt. 12:20 it says, A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering which He will not snuff out, till He leads justice to victory. NIV The enemy loves for you to be offended so he can get you to isolate!

So what stunts our growth or separates from the vine?

I. The Offense
Like mold the offense starts to grow and spreads all over you. It's a trap! It's the trigger on the mouse trap. It robs you of your blessing while you are in the trap. However, the offense is an opportunity for growth and release. How to escape from the trap is forgiveness.

II. Admit The Offense To Yourself.
We have all been trapped and we have all trapped. In Luke 17 Jesus tells us that it is impossible not to be offended and it's impossible not to often people and He teaches that it is hard on both ends. You are not the only on that this has happened to.

III. Admit The Offense To The Other Person.
Let's state this very clearly...Admission is not accusation!!! You can never know what their motive was! Generally they were oblivious or careless or hurt. How often have you "plotted" to hurt someone? Most usually it is a misunderstanding and the enemy uses it for his advantage (to set that trap). Please make sure that your heart is right with the Lord before going to do this. LOVE needs to be your motivation. Don't go to "confront" the person...go in love.

IV. Forgive The Offense.
God forgave us for so much how can we not forgive for so little? Be mature, make the first move, right or wrong. We have to make the choice to will forgiveness. When we forgive, it releases the issue to God so He can take care of it. When we forgive that is letting the vine dresser to lift us up out of the mud. He then washes the mold off and stakes us to the vine so that we can produce fruit.

Unforgiveness cuts us off from the nutrients of the Word, Prayer, Worship and Fellowship.

V. Get Back Into The Game.
Once we get out of the mus we need to get back into the exercise of reading the Word, praying, worshipping and fellowshipping which equals ABIDING!

Pray for God to reveal any unforgiveness in your life. Unforgiveness is like poison and as it courses through your veins it kills you! Do not let the enemy plant a seed of bitterness in your life.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Even the Wind and the Sea Obey Him!

39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”[d] 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”Mark 4:39-41 NKJ

Who can this be?????? Are you kidding me? Who can this be??? They lived with Jesus, walked with Him, saw Him do miracles and then they were surprised when He spoke and the storm ceased. This makes me laugh until I examine my own life...

Even though I haven't lived with the physical presence of God I have seen Him do miracles before my very eyes. I have seen Him provide in miraculous ways. He has never left me yet when certain crisis comes up I am right there where the disciples were saying, "Do You not care that we are perishing?” How do I look at that passage and criticize them when I am guilty of the very same thing?

Jesus has spoken things to my heart and I question how they can happen yet I am talking to the very man who that even the wind and the sea obey Him! We need to remember that even the wind and sea obey Him...whenever we start to doubt or get afraid we need to say, "Even the wind and the sea obey Him...He will take care of it,,,He is in control!"

I am so thankful that He is the same yesterday, today and forever...still yet even the wind and the seas obey Him! Yeah!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jesus Healed Her!

29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. 31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.
Mark 1:29-31


Jesus healed Peter's Mother-in-law. The next verse is important...And she served them. Peter's mom-in-law didn't sit and think, "I had better wait and see if I am really healed..." She didn't think that she should rest in case she had a relapse. She got up and served them! She took her healing and then used it. She served Jesus...probably in a practical way like getting them lunch.

Whenever the Lord heals you, you need to act on it! We need to take advantage of that healing and serve Him! We need to be thankful to the Lord! Rejoice! But whatever you do, do not let the devil talk you out of your healing! Take that healing and see where God will use you.

Excited to Serve the Healer!

Shanin

Friday, February 20, 2009

Psalm 121
1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the LORD,Who made heaven and earth.3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD is your keeper;The LORD is your shade at your right hand.6 The sun shall not strike you by day,Nor the moon by night.7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.
NKJ

Somedays I look at the hills or mountains that our city is at the foothills of and I quote this scripture. It really is a good reminder that I don't need to look for the Calvary to save me when I have God. I don't need to look at man for answers or help when I have God. He made heaven and earth!!! Why would my problems seem so big in comparison to that? He is God who can do the impossible!!!

I am so glad that I serve the God who is in control of everything...He has a plan indeed, a plan for me! Does your life seem out of control? Don't look to the hills for help look to God but look to the hills for a good reminder of Who you serve. You serve the CREATOR of those hills and of that ocean and of that valley...there isn't anything too big for God to handle.

Thank You Jesus.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Better is One Day

One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. Psa 27:4-5

dwell 2 a: to live as a resident

Awww the benefit of being royalty...you can live in the palace! How many of us take advantage of that? To truly dwell in the presence of the Most High.

So many advantages for those who do choose to dwell with the King. First of all we will get to really know Him. When you live with someone you really get to know who they really are. Intimacy. You can share secrets and inside jokes. You develop relationship. You can recognise His Voice. You start thinking more like Him when you really spend time with the King. You think about Him...

What better place to be than to be protected by The King Himself? When the enemy comes to bother you, you can say, "Do you know who my Dad is?" Oh yeeeaaahh...the advantage of being a son or daughter of the King. You can have the inheritance of the King...you can go before the throne boldly! Anytime day or night...you can inherit eternal life.

I love the song...better is one day in Your Courts, better is one day in House. better is one day in Your Courts than thousands elsewhere...than thousands elsewhere.

Enter into the Courts of the King...you are so welcome there and you won't ever be rejected...don't just be a visitor...come and live with the King.

Shanin

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Great Love Story

Today I am going to suggest that you read a great love story. The book of Ruth (in the bible) is a short love story. It has death of loved ones, respect and love for her mother-in-law and then a journey to a foreign land where she finds love once again. It is a redemptive love story that everyone should read! Ruth goes to work in a field to glean food for her and her mother-in-law where she meets the land barren Boaz. Boaz is an older man who is a compassionate and caring man.

Will she find true love with Boaz? Will her mother-in-law approve of this relationship? Or will another man step in the way of this budding romance?

This is a "have to read" romance approved for any age!

Shanin

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sustaining Hope

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought,Nor will cease from yielding fruit. Jer 17:7-8


I have never really "absorbed" this scripture before. It doesn't say that we will never go through a drought or hard times.But it does say that Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose hope is in Him! Because when we do go through the drought He will be with us. If our roots are planted deep in Him we don't have to fear!

I love this last part...during the "heat" our leaves will be green and we will bear fruit!!! The drought won't effect us like those who don't know Jesus. When tough times come we cling to Him! He is our source of living water! With Him we will bear fruit! Even when we are going through the desert. We won't dry up and die! He is our HOPE! He is our source of help even in the times of trouble. He is with us.

If you are going through a "desert period" and need prayer, I would be so glad to pray for you. Drop me a line and I will pray for you! Remember we have hope in Jesus. He will sustain us.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Do You Someone that is Paralyzed?

1 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. 2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
Mark 2:1-5 NKJ


When I read this passage this week I thought to myself...how many friends do I know that are paralyzed? Paralyzed in fear, rejection, in hopelessness? I know so many that are paralyzed maybe not in the physical but worse yet but in the spiritual. Do I, as their friend, do everything I can to get them to Jesus? Am I such a good friend, that I would rip open the roof to lower in my friend so that he or she might have healing and eternal life?

Do we as Americans do everything we can, in our freedom, to get our sick friends to the Ultimate Healer? Or are we afraid that we might “offend” someone? We should take advantage of our freedom to share Christ with everyone! Now this means with our lifestyle not just lip service. Remember we are being watched every moment to see if our lives match our Lord.

Jesus forgave the paralytic of his sins first and then He healed him of his physical disability. Let’s get the broken to Jesus so that He can save them and heal them. He can meet all of our needs according to His riches in glory! It’s our job to be “good friends” and introduce them to the One who can save and heal them.

In His Ability Not Mine,

Shanin

Monday, February 9, 2009

Featured Guest Blog - Bread Today

I was reading my husband's blog today and I just loved his devotion on this passage so I thought that I would feature his devotion on my blog today! Enjoy...

But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.Acts 16:25-26 NKJV

As I meditated on this passage I was struck with the way scripture connected prayer and worship with destroying the prison, opening doors and loosing the captives. These men had been imprisoned for setting a demonized woman free from her spiritual bondage that was being used to profit her masters’ wallet. They had been seized by the crowd and drug before the magistrates only to be beaten by the crowd, beaten with rods by the magistrates’ order and then locked in stocks by the jailer without any of their rights being observed.

As Paul and Silas lay in the prison on their wounded backs, they prayed and sang and their fellow prisoners were listening to them. When we worship in Spirit and in truth others are opened to the presence of the Lord. The prisoners wanted to know about a God who inspired singing and praying after being unfairly treated.

Then the foundation of the prison was shaken. As we praise and worship God we too are shaking the prison we and those around us are trapped in. We are God’s ambassadors to the captives around us. They ministered to God and the other prisoners were effected too. Worship is foundational. It changes things at root level.

Immediately the doors were opened because God is interested in getting us out of bondage and not just improving our jail. He intends to set us free not make our prison comfortable. He wants us to be moved beyond what limits us in Him even the comfort zones.

And everyone’s chains were loosed! Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Jesus desires our complete freedom. His plan isn’t just to make our lives tolerable or better than they were. Jesus told us His plan was for abundant life now.

Freed By Worship,

Pastor Jason

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It's Your Choice!

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8

This is wisdom in a step by step formula when you break it down:

Step 1 Trust the Lord with all of your heart...don't leave room for any doubt or second guessing...

Step 2 Lean not on your own understanding! Boy this would seem to be a no brainer however this one is the one that can trip me up if I am not careful.

Step 3 In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Note the first part of this sentence...in ALL YOUR WAYS acknowledge Him...this is back to consulting with Him first on everything and then don't ignore Him or His advice! This is so irritating to me...ask me to do something or consult me then ignore everything that I say! If you are not going to listen to what I have to say then why ask in the first place? I can only imagine how God must feel because His direction is right on the money everytime but how many times do we ignore what His Word says or ignore His voice? After we acknowledge Him and Him being God and Lord of our lives and listen to what He says then of course He will direct our paths/ways!!! If we would only listen!

Step 4 Do not be wise in your own eyes....don't hold yourself or think of yourself above God...now I know many of you are thinking, "Oh, I would never do that!" but in reality whenever we do what we want instead of what God desires aren't we in fact doing that? Thinking that we know best? Arrogant huh? Ugly too...but sometimes the truth hurts!

Step 5 Fear the Lord. Respect the Lord! We all should have the fear of God in our hearts...sometimes Christians tend to get "buddy buddy" with God and forget that He is ACTUALLY GOD! He does desire to be our friend but we still need to never forget that He is God and we need to respect Him.

Step 6 Depart from evil. Another no brainer but how many times do we (like little kids) find out where the line is and stand with our toes right on the line? God says to depart or flee from evil. Don't hang out with it...don't entertain or flirt with sin... that is evil.

Then comes the promise: It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.

When we do things our way it is the school of hard knocks but when we do it God's way it will be health to our flesh and strength to our bones! Think about it...my way or God's way....scripture says His ways are higher than our ways...it all comes down to choice...He loves us so much that He gives us free will. We have to choose to serve Him...we have to choose if we want to do it His way or our way...then we get the consequences of our choices...life or death it is our choice.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Reflection of the Gift of Life

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written,The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them. Psalm 139:13-16


Today I want to give honor to whom honor is due. First of all to my Creator, who formed me in my mother's womb. I am so glad that He knows me inside and out. I am thankful of who He made me to be. I am grateful for the days that He has fashioned for me...I may not know how many there are but I intend to enjoy everyone of them to the fullest! I want to live them in a way that when people look at me they see my Dad in me. I am thankful that He died to give me eternal life.

Second of all I want to give honor to my earthly parents who gave me life. They might not have been perfect but they loved me and did the best that they knew how. They gave me the most awesome inheritance I could have ever received...they left me a legacy that can be handed down from generation to generation...they taught me about Jesus.

Today on my birthday I am thankful for life!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

No Partiality

34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:34-35;43 NKJV

Isn't it awesome that we serve a God who shows no partiality? It is almost hard to fathom in this world. God isn't swayed by money, status, race or class. He doesn't shun me because of my past and He isn't even embarrassed to be seen with me! How exciting is that? We are fully accepted! That is why I put the "whoever" in bold print. Whoever believes in Him is fully embraced into the Family of God. Remember...regardless of your past or where you come from He loves you!

Accepted, not rejected, with the stamp of approval by God!